The president of the Hellenic Chamber of Hoteliers, Yiannis Hatzis, cited what he called the obstacles preventing a qualitative upgrade of Greece’s all-important hospitality sector, speaking at the inaugural regional conference of the Hellenic Chamber of Hoteliers in the town of Karpenisi, central Greece, with the theme of “Shaping the Tourist Product of Continental Greece”.

Hotels in Greece, particularly those up to the three-star category, and totaling more than 200,000 rooms, have faced challenges in upgrading their quality due to limited access to credit, he said. This has hindered their ability to modernize facilities, including energy efficiency and infrastructure enhancements. However, recent efforts headed by the Hellenic Chamber of Hoteliers are promising, he added.

A recent pre-announcement of an energy upgrade program, “Save Energy,” is seen as a positive step forward. Additionally, in partnership with the Deloitte firm, the Chamber is organizing free consulting workshops to aid hoteliers in upgrading their establishments.

Furthermore, a strategic collaboration with the National Bank of Greece is underway to develop a specialized financing product catering to the capital needs of small hoteliers. This initiative aims to provide easier access to liquidity from the banking sector.

Addressing immediate concerns, the Chamber is advocating for solutions to pressing issues such as short-term rentals, the resilience levy, and the high VAT rate on accommodations. The President emphasized the need for regulation in short-term rentals to alleviate burdens on local communities and highlighted the disadvantage Greek businesses face due to the high VAT rate compared to international competitors.

These concerted efforts by the Hellenic Chamber of Hoteliers reflect a commitment to support the Greek hospitality sector and enhance its competitiveness in the global market.